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Title:
IMPROVED SCREW
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/201501
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A screw comprising a head and a shank, the shank having a drill portion at a distal end thereof, the head including a drive region that is connectable or engageable with a driver in a manner such that retraction of the drive causes retraction of the screw.

Inventors:
MCCULLOCH, James Craig (c/- Cullens Pty Ltd, Level 32239 George Stree, Brisbane Queensland 4000, 4000, AU)
Application Number:
AU2016/050493
Publication Date:
December 22, 2016
Filing Date:
June 15, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
UNITED JC PTY LTD (c/- Cullens Pty Ltd, Level 32239 George Stree, Brisbane Queensland 4000, 4000, AU)
International Classes:
F16B25/00; F16B23/00; F16B35/04
Foreign References:
CN204312498U2015-05-06
US20150063947A12015-03-05
AU2010101450A42011-02-03
JP2005279853A2005-10-13
US5868049A1999-02-09
US4572039A1986-02-25
US8418778B22013-04-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CULLENS PTY LTD (Level 32, 239 George StreetBrisbane, Queensland 4000, 4000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A screw comprising a head and a shank, the shank having a drill portion at a distal end thereof, the head including a drive region that is connectable or engageable with a driver in a manner such that retraction of the drive causes retraction of the screw.

2. A screw according to claim 1 wherein the driver is connectable to, or engageable with, the screw by placing the driver in contact with the screw and causing rotation of the driver relative to the screw.

3. A screw according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein retraction of the driver in a direction generally parallel to a longitudinal axis of the screw causes retraction of the screw.

4. A screw according to any one or the preceding claims wherein the drive region comprises a recess adapted to receive an end of the driver, the end of the driver being insertable into the recess and wherein rotation of the driver relative to the screw causes the driver to be connected to, or engaged with, the screw.

5. A screw according to any one or the preceding claims wherein the recess includes at least one surface overhanging the recess, the at least one surface adapted to abut at least one projecting surface of the driver in use so as to prevent withdrawal of the driver from the recess.

6. A screw according to any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the drive region comprises a region adapted to be received within a recess at an end of the driver and wherein rotation of the driver relative to the screw causes the driver to be connected to, or engaged with, the screw.

7. A screw according to any one or the preceding claims wherein the drill portion includes one or more drill flutes.

8. A screw according to any one or the preceding claims wherein the drill portion has a length of approximately 1/3 to 2/5 the length of the shank.

9. A screw according to any one or the preceding claims wherein the screw further comprises one or more screw flights located proximally of the drill portion.

10. A driver for driving a screw in accordance with claim 1, the driver having a shank, the shank having a distal end shaped such that it connects to or engages with the screw in a manner such that retraction of the driver causes retraction of the screw.

11. A driver according to claim 10 wherein the driver includes at least one projecting surface projecting outwardly from a region located on a distal side of a neck region.

12. A driver according to claim 11 wherein the neck region is located near a distal end of the driver.

13. A driver according to claim 12 wherein the projecting surface comprises one or more corners of the distal end of the driver, or an enlargement, node or protrusion on the driver.

14. A driver according to any one of claims 10 to 13 wherein the driver is adapted for connection to an electric drill, electric screwdriver, socket or screwdriver.

15. A driver in accordance with claim 10 in combination with a screw in accordance with claim 1.

16. A method for joining two elements comprising the steps of providing a screw in accordance with claim 1, providing a driver in accordance with claim 10, bringing the screw and the driver into contact to thereby connect or engage the screw with the driver, operating the driver so that the drill portion of the screw drills a hole, withdrawing the driver and screw from the hole when the drill portion of the screw is approximately at its full depth to thereby remove swarf from the hole, reinserting the screw into the hole and operating the driver to drive the screw fully in.

Description:
IMPROVED SCREW

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to an improved screw. The present invention also relates to a method for connecting two elements together. The method is particularly suitable for use in erecting cabinetry.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] Cabinetry, such as kitchen cabinetry, is normally made from relatively thin panels of wooden products. For example, much kitchen cabinetry is made from 16 mm thick chipboard panels. In order to erect kitchen cabinetry, the panels are lined up, a hole is drilled through the aligned panels using an electric drill fitted with a drill bit. As the drill bit enters into the panels, a hole is drilled and swarf (the cuttings generated by the drill bit drilling into the panel) moves along the grooves of the drill bit and is removed from the hole that is being drilled. Once the drill bit has reached the desired depth for the hole (and the normal depth of the hole involves the hole extending through a first panel and into a second panel that is to be connected to the first panel), the drill bit is withdrawn from the hole. A screw is then positioned in the hole and a screwdriver is used to drive the screw into the hole to thereby join the first panel to the second panel. The screwdriver will typically be an electric screwdriver or an electric drill that is fitted with a screwdriver bit. Therefore, erecting cabinetry involves using a drill to drill a hole, removing the drill from the hole, placing a screw in the hole, selecting a screwdriver and using the screwdriver to drive the screw home. This involves multiple steps and requires two separate tools to drill the hole and to drive the screw home.

[0003] There have been attempts to improve the efficiency of connecting two elements together by providing screws that have a screw flight at a rear end of the screw and a drill bit at the front end of the screw. Such screws may be thought of as being an integrated drill bit and screw. In use of the screws, a driving head is engaged with the end of the screw. For example, a screw that has a Phillips head end is mated to a driving bit having a complementary Phillips head end. The driving bit is turned to cause the screw to rotate, which causes the drill bit at the far end of the screw to commence drilling a hole. However, the screws suffer from the drawback that the swarf that is generated when the drill bit first enters the member remains within the grooves of the drill bit. Once the screw flights reach the surface of the wood, the screw flight act to seal or close off the hole. As a result, the swarf that is generated during insertion of the screw into the hole cannot leave the hole. As a result, the swarf has a tendency to crack the wooden member. [0004] The issue of what to do with the swarf generated using such integrated drill bits and screws cannot be addressed by reversing the direction of rotation of the screw. As the screw is reversed, the screw flights and the spiral of the drill simply push the swarf back into the hole.

[0005] It will be clearly understood that, if a prior art publication is referred to herein, this reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms part of the common general knowledge in the art in Australia or in any other country.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0006] The present invention is directed to an improved screw, a drive member that engages with the improved screw and a method for connecting two members together, which may at least partially overcome at least one of the abovementioned disadvantages or provide the consumer with a useful or commercial choice.

[0007] With the foregoing in view, the present invention in one form, resides broadly in a screw comprising a head and a shank, the shank having a drill portion at a distal end thereof, the head including a drive region that is connectable or engageable with a driver in a manner such that retraction of the drive causes retraction of the screw.

[0008] In some embodiments of the invention, the screw may further comprise one or more screw flights located proximally of the drill portion.

[0009] In one embodiment, the driver is connectable to the screw or engageable with the screw by placing the driver into contact with the screw and causing rotation of the driver relative to the screw to thereby connect the driver to the screw or engage the driver with the screw in a manner such that retraction of the driver in a direction generally parallel to a longitudinal axis of the screw also causes retraction of the screw. In this embodiment, the driver and the screw can be disconnected or disengaged by causing relative rotation between the driver and the screw in an opposite direction.

[0010] In one embodiment, the drive region comprises a recess adapted to receive an end of the driver, the end of the driver being insertable into the recess and wherein rotation of the driver relative to the screw causes the driver to be connected to, or engaged with, the screw. Relative rotation in an opposite direction allows the driver to be disconnected or disengaged from the screw.

[001 1] In one embodiment, the drive region comprises a recess, wherein the recess includes at least one surface overhanging the recess, the at least one surface adapted to abut at least one projecting surface of the driver in use so as to prevent withdrawal of the driver from the recess. The driver may include at least one projecting surface that, in use, is located within the recess and below the at least one overhanging surface. In this manner, retraction of the driver by trying to pull the driver out of the recess causes the at least one projecting surface to come into contact with the at least one overhanging surface to thereby prevent withdrawal of the driver from the recess. In order to withdraw the driver from the recess, the driver may be rotated relative to the recess to move the at least one projecting surface from underneath the at least one overhanging surface.

[0012] In a second aspect, the present invention provides a driver for driving a screw in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention, the driver having a shank, the shank having a distal end shaped such that it connects to or engages with a screw in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention in a manner such that retraction of the driver causes retraction of the screw.

[0013] In one embodiment, retraction of the driver in a direction that is generally parallel to a longitudinal direction of the screw causes retraction of the screw when the driver is connected to or engaged with the screw.

[0014] In a third aspect, the present invention comprises a driver in accordance with the second aspect described herein in combination with a screw in accordance with the first aspect described herein.

[0015] In one embodiment of the method of the present invention, the screw and the driver are connected together or engaged with each other by bringing the screw and the driver into contact with each other and causing relative rotation between the screw and the driver. Causing relative rotation in an opposite direction can be used to disconnect or disengage the screw and the driver.

[0016] The driver may comprise at least one projecting surface at an end thereof. The at least one proj ecting surface may be provided on the driver by providing the driver with a neck region near a distal end thereof, the at least one projecting surface projecting outwardly from a region located on a distal side of the neck region. In another embodiment, the projecting surface may be provided by forming a cut-out or recess on a proximal side of the projecting surface. The projecting surface may comprise one or more corners of the distal end of the driver, with one or more recesses cut-outs being positioned proximally of the corners of the distal end of the driver. In another embodiment, the at least one projecting surface may comprise an enlargement, a node or a protrusion on the driver, for example at or near a distal end of the driver.

[0017] In another embodiment, the recess comprises a cam shaped recess having a narrow end and a wider end. An end of the driver may also include a narrow end and a wider end. Rotation of the driver may cause the end of the driver to be moved into tight contact with the cam shaped recess such that a friction fit is formed between the driver and the screw. Rotation of the driver in an opposite direction moves the end of the driver out of tight engagement with the cam shaped recess. It will also be appreciated that the screw may be provided with a projection of that shape and the driver may have a recess of complementary shape.

[0018] In another embodiment the drive region of the screw comprises a region that is receivable within a recess at the end of the drive, and wherein relative rotation between the screw and the drive causes the drive to be connected to the screw. Relative rotation in an opposite direction allows the drive to be disconnected from the screw. In one specific embodiment, a neck may interconnect the region to the rest of the screw and the drive region may have a recess that has an overhanging surface. Relative rotation between the driver in the screw may cause the overhanging surface to extend underneath the part of the land extending outwardly from the neck. This prevents the driver being retracted from the screw by pulling the driver in a direction that is generally parallel to a longitudinal axis of the screw. To disconnect or disengage the driver from the screw, the driver is rotated relative to the screw in an opposite direction which moves the overhanging surface out of alignment with the part of the land that extend outwardly from the neck, thereby allowing the driver to be disconnected and disengage from the screw by pulling in a direction that is generally parallel to a longitudinal direction of the screw

[0019] The present invention allows two elements to be connected together in a much simpler manner. In order to connect two elements, such as two wooden panels used in cabinetry, together, the driver is connected to or engaged with a screw in accordance with the present invention. The distal end of the screw is positioned on one of the elements and the driver rotated to cause the drill portion of the screw to start drilling a hole. When the drill portion of the screw has entered into the element or elements to the full extent of the drill portion, the operator then pulls back on the driver, which retracts the driver. As the screw is connected to or engaged with the driver, the screw is also retracted out of the hole that has been formed by the drill portion at the same time. Any swarf caught in the grooves or flutes of the drill portion is also removed from the hole. The operator then pushes the screw back into the hole and again operates the driver to rotate the screw such that the drill portion at the distal portion of the screw continues to drill a hole and the screw flights (if present) bite into the walls of the hole in order to fix the screw in the hole. Although any swarf that may be generated by the additional drilling will remain trapped in the hole, the amount of additional swarf will not be sufficiently large to cause cracking of the elements that are being joined together. Therefore, the operator only needs a single tool to drill the hole and screw the screw into the elements. The risk of cracking of the elements is minimised or avoided. The operator only need to pull back on the driver to retract the screw from the opening in the first part of forming the whole. The operator then simply reinserts the screw into the hole and operates the driver to rotate the screw to drive it home.

[0020] Accordingly, in a fourth aspect, the present invention provides a method for joining two elements comprising the steps of providing a screw in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention, providing a driver in accordance with the second aspect of the present invention, bringing the screw and the driver into contact to thereby connect or engage the screw with the driver, operating the driver so that the drill portion of the screw drills a hole, withdrawing the driver and screw from the hole when the drill portion of the screw is approximately at its full depth to thereby remove swarf from the hole, reinserting the screw into the hole and operating the driver to drive the screw fully in.

[0021] Any of the features described herein can be combined in any combination with any one or more of the other features described herein within the scope of the invention.

[0022] The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that the prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0023] Various embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the following drawings, in which:

[0024] Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a screw in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0025] Figure 2 shows a side view of the screw shown in figure 1 ; [0026] Figure 3 shows an end view of the screw shown in figure 1 ;

[0027] Figure 4 shows a cross sectional view of the head end of the screw shown in figure 1 ; [0028] Figure 5 shows a cross sectional view taken along a longitudinal axis of the screw shown in figure 1 ;

[0029] Figure 6 shows an enlarged end view of the screw shown in figure 1 ;

[0030] Figure 7 shows a perspective view of a driver used to drive in the screw shown in figures 1 to 6;

[0031] Figure 8 shows a side view of the driver shown in figure 7; [0032] Figure 9 shows and end view of the driver shown in figure 7;

[0033] Figure 10 shows an end view of a cross section of the driver taken along B-B of figure 8;

[0034] Figure 1 1 shows an end view of the head of a screw in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0035] Figure 12 shows a cross sectional view of the head end of the screw shown in figure

11;

[0036] Figure 13 shows an enlarged view of the head end of the screw shown in figure 11;

[0037] Figure 14 shows a perspective view of a driver suitable for use with the screw shown in figures 11 to 13;

[0038] Figure 15 shows a cross sectional view of the driver shown in figure 14;

[0039] Figure 16 shows a perspective view of a screw and a driver in accordance with the present invention connected together;

[0040] Figure 17 shows a cross sectional side view of the screw and driver shown in figure 16;

[0041] Figure 18 shows a side view, partly in cross-section, of the screw and driver shown in figure 16;

[0042] Figure 19 shows an enlarged cross sectional view of detail E shown in figure 18; [0043] Figure 20 shows a photograph of a drive in screw ready for drilling into the panel; [0044] Figure 21 shows a photograph in which the screw has been inserted into the panel to a depth of the drill portion of the

[0045] Figure 22 shows the drill in screw being removed from the position shown in figure 21 in order to remove swarf from the hole; and

[0046] Figure 23 shows the screw being fully screwed in and the drive being removed from the screw head.

[0047] Figure 24 illustrates a driver according to an embodiment of the present invention. [0048] Figure 25 illustrates an enlarged view of the driver illustrated in Figure 24. DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0049] Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the drawings have been provided for the purpose of illustrating preferred embodiments of the present invention. Therefore, it will be understood that the present invention should not be considered to be limited solely to the features as shown in the attached drawings.

[0050] Figures 1 to 6 show various views of a screw 10 in accordance with the present invention. Screw 10 comprises a shank 12 and a head 14. The shank 12 has a screw portion 16 and a drill portion 18. Drill portion 18 is located at the distal region of the screw. Throughout this specification the term "distal" is used to refer to the parts of the screw that are located away from the head and the term "proximal" is used to refer to the parts of the screw that are located closer to the head.

[0051] Screw portion 16 includes screw flights 20. Drill portion 18 includes drill flutes 22. The screw flights 20 and the drill flutes 22 may be of conventional design. The screw flights 20 may be roll formed in the shank. The drill flutes 22 may be formed by cutting or by rolling and sharpening. The distal end 24 of the screw 10 has a drill point. As can be seen from figure 2, the drill portion 18 has a length of approximately 1/3 to 2/5 of the length of the shank 12. The screw portion 16 has a length that is approximately 1/3 to 2/5 of the length of the shank 12.

[0052] The screw head 14 includes a recess 26. The recess 26 may be formed in the screw during moulding of the screw blank, or by cutting, stamping or forging. As can best be seen in figure 6, the recess 26 effectively has four sides, with each side including a first side portion 28 and a second side portion 30 that extends at a slight angle to first side portion 28. The effect of forming the recess in that shape is the overall recess is of a generally square shape but with the corners being recessed from the first side portions. Punched regions 32 are then formed in the vicinity of the second side portions 30 by use of a punch having four prongs. The ends of the prongs of the punch contact the top of the screw near the second side portions 30 and the punching effect compresses the material from which the screw is made to form depressions 34 that are in the shape of the end of the prong. In the embodiment shown in the attached drawings, the depressions 34 are generally circular shaped. As best shown in figure 4, the punching effect also causes an overhanging region 36 to extend into the recess. This is due to deformation of the metal during the punching process Thus, the recess 26 includes the opening having four spaced first side portions 28 that are separated by four spaced second side portions 30. The overhanging regions 36 are located above each of the second side portions 30.

[0053] Figures 7 to 9 show various views of a driver in accordance with the present invention. The driver 40, comprises a shank 42 having a distal region 44. The driver 40 also includes a proximal end 46. The proximal end 46 includes a region 48 that can be mounted into an electric drill. Region 48 may have a hexagonal shape. A further hexagonal shape region 50 is spaced from region 48 by a waist 52. It will be appreciated that the term "proximal" is used to refer to parts that are located relatively closer to the user in use and the term "distal" is used to refer to parts that are located relatively further away from the user in use.

[0054] The distal region 44 of the driver 40 has a square shaped end 54 that is of complementary shape to a square shaped region that would be transposed by extensions of the four first side portions 28 of the recess 26 in the screw 10. In this manner, the square shaped end 54 of the driver 40 can be inserted into the recess 26 of the screw 10 by aligning the respective sides of the square shaped end 54 with the first side portions 28 of the recess 26. As shown in figures 7 and 8, the distal region 44 also includes cut-outs or recesses 56 that are spaced a short distance away from the distal end 54 of the driver 40. This can also be seen in figure 10, which is an end view taken along cross section line B-B in figure 8. As can be seen from figure 7, the corners of the square shaped end 54 of the driver 40 extend out beyond the periphery of the cutouts 56.

[0055] Due to the shape and size of the square shaped end 54 and the cut-outs 56, the distal region 44 of the driver 40 can be inserted into the recess 26 of the screw 10. The sides of the square shaped end 54 of the driver 40 will need to be essentially parallel to the first side portions 28 of the recess 26 in order to insert the square shaped end 54 of the driver 40 into the recess 26. Rotation of the driver 40 in an anticlockwise direction will then result in the sides of the square end 54 rotating until they come into contact with respective second side portions 30 of the recess 26 in the screw 10. In this location, the cut-outs 56 will be located in alignment with the overhanging regions 36 formed in the recess 26 of the screw 10. The corners of the square shaped end 54 of the driver 40 will be located under the overhanging regions 36 of the recess 26 of the screw 10. In this manner, if an attempt is made to pull the driver 40 out of the recess by simply retracting the driver 40 in a direction that is generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the screw 10, the corners of the square end 54 will come into contact with the overhanging regions 36, thereby preventing removal of the drive from the screw. Effectively, the drive is connected to or engaged with the screw. This can be seen more clearly in figure 19 in which the corners 58 of the square end of the driver 40 are located underneath the overhanging regions 36 of the screw recess 26. The cut-outs or recesses 56 in the driver 40 enable the corners 58 to rotate underneath the overhanging regions 36 without the driver 40 coming into contact with the overhanging regions 36 during that rotation. Similarly, rotation of the driver 40 in the opposite direction will cause the corners 58 of the square end 54 to move out from underneath the overhanging regions 36, thereby enabling removal of the driver 40 from the screw recess 26 by retracting the driver 40 in a direction that is generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the screw 10.

[0056] The screw shown in figures 1 to 6 enables the driver to be locked to the screw by rotating the drive anticlockwise relative to the screw. In the embodiment shown in figures 11 to 13, the screw 110 is essentially identical to the screw 10 shown in figures 1 to 6, except it locks to the drive by rotation of the drive in a direction that is clockwise relative to the screw. Apart from that, the screw 110 is essentially the same as the screw 10. For convenience, the features of screw 1 10 shown in figures 1 1 to 13 that are in common with the features of the screw 10 shown in figures 1 to 6 will be denoted by similar reference numerals, but with the addition of a "1" to the front. For example, recess 26 in figure 4 corresponds to recess 126 in figure 12. These features need not be described further. Similarly, the drive 140 shown in figures 14 and 15 is generally similar to the driver 40 shown in figures 7 to 10, except that the orientation of the cutouts 156 has been altered (see figure 15) to accommodate the right-hand drive arrangement of screw 1 10. It will be appreciated that drive 140 can be used to screw in screw 110.

[0057] Figures 16 to 19 show various views of a screw 10 being connected to a driver 40. Figure 19 shows, in expanded detail, how the driver 40 becomes connected to or engaged with the screw 10. This has been described in detail in paragraph [0052] above.

[0058] Figures 20 to 23 show a sequence of steps that may be used to connect two elements together. In figures 20 to 23, the screw 10 is being used to connect a chipboard panel 60 to a second chipboard panel 62 that is positioned perpendicularly to panel 60. It will be appreciated that such panels are commonly used in cabinetry, such as kitchen cabinetry and this connection arrangement is commonly used in erecting cabinetry. It can be seen from figure 21 that the screw 10 passes through the thickness of panel 60 and extends into and along the length of panel 62.

[0059] In order to screw panel 60 and panel 62 together, driver 40 is mounted into an electric drill 64. The distal end of driver 40 is then inserted into the recess in the head of the screw 10, as shown in figure 20. The screw portion 16 and the drill portion 18 of the screw 10 can clearly be shown in figure 20. The drill point at the distal end of the screw 10 is then placed on panel 60 and electric drill 64 operated to cause rotation of the screw 10. This causes the drill portion 18 to start drilling a hole in the panel 60. As the hole is being drilled, swarf accumulates in the drill flutes 22. If this swarf is not removed, there is a risk that panels 60 or 62 will split when the screw is fully screwed in. To avoid this concern, when the screw 10 has been used to drill a hole that is about as deep as the length of the drill portion 18 (in other words, when the screw 10 has been drilled in sufficiently far that the screw flights 20 have not quite or are just starting to engage with the panel 60), the operator removes the drill portion 18 of the screw 10 from the hole that has been drilled by simply retracting the drill 64. This is shown in figure 22. Swarf 66 can be seen in figure 22. The swarf 66 can be removed from the drill flutes and the screw reinserted back into the hole. The hole 68 that has been drilled by the drill portion 18 of the screw 10 can also be seen in figure 22. The electric drill 64 can then be operated to fully screw in the screw 10. The drill portion 18 continues to drill a hole as the screw 10 is more fully screwed in and the screw portion 16 holds and connects the panels 60 and 62 together. Although additional swarf is generated during this step, as the swarf that was formed during initial drilling of the hole has been removed in this step shown in figure 22, the additional swarf is of volume that is not sufficient to cause splitting or cracking of the panels 60, 62.

[0060] Once the screw 10 has been fully screwed in, operation of the drill is stopped and the operator rotates the drill or driver 40 in an opposite direction such that the corners 58 of the square end 54 of the drive are no longer located underneath the overhanging regions 36 of the screw recess 26. This enables the driver 40 to be removed from the screw 10, as shown in figure 23.

[0061] Figures 24 and 25 illustrate a driver 100 in accordance with the present invention. The driver 100 comprises a shank 101 having a distal region 102. The driver 100 also includes a proximal end 103. The proximal end 103 includes a region 104 that can be mounted into an electric drill. Region 104 may have a hexagonal shape. A further hexagonal shape region 105 is spaced from region 104 by a waist 106. It will be appreciated that the term "proximal" is used to refer to parts that are located relatively closer to the user in use and the term "distal" is used to refer to parts that are located relatively further away from the user in use.

[0062] The distal region 102 of the driver 100 has a square shaped protrusion 107 that is spaced apart from the end 108 of the driver 100 and is of complementary shape to a square shaped region that would be transposed by extensions of the four first side portions of the recess in the screw. In this manner, the square shaped protrusion 107 of the driver 100 can be inserted into the recess of the screw by aligning the respective sides of the square shaped protrusion 107 with the first side portions of the recess.

[0063] The square shaped protrusion 107 is formed by removing material from the end 108 of the driver 100, and by forming a channel 109 through the removal of material between the square shaped protrusion 107 and the shank 101 of the driver 100.

[0064] The present invention allows two elements to be connected together without requiring a separate drill bit and screw to be used. Furthermore, a single driving tool can be used to fully screw in the screw. The screw can connect to or engage with the drive so that the screw can be removed from an initial hole drilled by the drill portion of the screw by simply pulling back on the drive or the tool to which the drive is attached. Swarf generated by initial drilling of the hole can be removed from the screw and the screw can then be reinserted into the hole and fully screwed home. The drive can then be rotated relative to the screw to disconnect or disengage the drive and the drive can then be easily removed or detached from the screw. Significant improvements in productivity can be obtained by only needing a single tool to both drill a hole and to screw the screw into the whole without causing cracking of the elements been joined together.

[0065] It will be appreciated that the screw 10 may have a left-hand thread whilst the screw 110 may have a right-hand thread.

[0066] It will be appreciated that other designs may be used to enable the drive to be connected to or engaged with the screw. For example, one of the screw or drive may be provided with a cam shaped recess and the other of the screw or the drive provided with a complementary -shaped end for inserting into the recess. Relative rotation in one direction causes the end to be pushed into a tight frictional contact with the cam shaped recess to thereby connect or engage the drive to the screw. Rotation between the drive and the screw in the opposite direction will break the connection or engagement and enable the drive to be removed from the screw.

[0067] Screws in accordance with the present invention may be mass produced at relatively low cost. In commercial embodiments, a bag of screws may include a single drive to enable the screws to be screwed in. Alternatively, the drives may be sold separately to the screws.

[0068] The drive may be connected to an electric drill. Alternatively, the drive may be connected to an electric screwdriver. As a further alternative, the drive may be connected to a socket or to a screwdriver.

[0069] In the present specification and claims (if any), the word 'comprising' and its derivatives including 'comprises' and 'comprise' include each of the stated integers but does not exclude the inclusion of one or more further integers.

[0070] Reference throughout this specification to One embodiment' or 'an embodiment' means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases 'in one embodiment' or 'in an embodiment' in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.

[0071] In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific to structural or methodical features. It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to specific features shown or described since the means herein described comprises preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims (if any) appropriately interpreted by those skilled in the art.